On SourceForge, a repository for open source software, users' reviews state that Ares Galaxy is easy to use. By averaging the aggregate user reviews, the site gives Ares four out of five stars in each of its reviewed categories, which include ease, features, design and support.
Software repository CNET awards Ares with an overall user score of three out of four. On SourceForge, most negative reviews for Ares have nothing to do with ease of use and mainly focus on the optional bonus software bundled with every Ares installer download.
Developed in 2002, Ares initially operated as part of the Gnutella file sharing network. Within a few months, Ares switched to its own decentralized network. Distinctively, Ares is the only P2P file-sharing client that works within some restricted networks, such as university networks. However, as of 2015, more organizations have developed the ability to block Ares.
In late 2006, a number of anti-piracy organizations began degrading the Ares experience by hosting fake music files. Put forth as songs from popular artists, these files appear near the top of user searches, but when selected, the files don't download. As of 2015, Ares includes support for BitTorrent, the most popular protocol for P2P file sharing. The software also integrates SHOUTcast, a streaming Internet radio system from Nullsoft.